There is no political issue more pressing than the official inaction on climate change. With time running out to avert hundreds of millions of deaths and global migration, food, disease, and water chaos, with 73% of US voters believing in climate change (albeit with a mere 57% believing it is caused by humans), every one of our political debates should be centered on climate change.
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PolyGlu is used by aid workers to force impurities in water to settle at the bottom of a container, making the water safer for drinking in areas where water is scarce or polluted. Read the rest
Last night, Coyote Creek in San Jose, California dramatically overspilled its banks. A mandatory evacuation displaced 14,000 residents, many of whom required decontamination because the water was likely toxic. Read the rest
California's perma-drought has led to the death of more that 102 million trees in the last six years.
From SF Gate:
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Scientists blame five-plus years of drought on the increasing tree deaths — tree “fatalities” increased by 100 percent in 2016 — but the rate of their demise has been much faster than expected, increasing the risk of ecologically damaging erosion and wildfires even bigger than the largest blazes the state’s seen this year.
“It’s not beyond the pale to suggest that this is a pretty unprecedented event in at least recent history,” said Adrian Das, an ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey.
At Adventures in Mapping, John Nelson developed a sobering series of maps that visualize the intensity of the drought gripping much of the US: Read the rest
Who is the top residential water hog of Los Angeles? The Center for Investigative Reporting has narrowed it down to 7 Bel-Air mansions, with billionaire Jerry Perenchio's estate the prime suspect for using almost 12 million gallons of water a year. Read the rest
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has changed its rebate program that subsidized homeowners who ripped up their wasteful turf lawns and put in plastic grass or gravel. Read the rest
The LA Times' Q&A column tapped a lawyer to answer a reader's question about their crazy-ass homeowners' association, which denied an application to plant a front lawn of drought-tolerant cactii and succulents because it wouldn't be "pretty" and because they "do not want New Mexico, Arizona or Nevada desert landscape." Read the rest
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is buying 80 million 4-inch black polyethylene balls to cover the surfaces of three Los Angeles reservoirs that serve 4 million residents. At a cost of 33 cents each, the hollow spheres are designed to block sunlight from turning bromide and chlorine in the water into bromate, a suspected carcinogen.
Photos of the ball manufacturing equipment at XavierC in Glendora, California.
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Filmmaker Katherine Espejo has been documenting how the increasingly grim drought is affecting her home town in Central California, focusing on parts of East Porterville, where some wells have begun running dry. Read the rest
Tom Selleck, best known as Magnum P.I., has apparently settled, at least tentatively, with the Ventura County water district after the actor was accused of stealing water from a fire hydrant and trucking it to their 60-acre ranch. Read the rest
Police charged Glyn Stout, 77, and Lori Kay Stout, 53, owners of Lupin Lodge, a nudist resort in the Santa Cruz Mountains, with diverting water from a creek to keep their water tank and pool filled during the drought. Read the rest
“The state is reaching back more than a century in the hierarchy of California water rights,” reports the Los Angeles Times.
Nearly everyone in the US depends on food crops grown in California, so farmers must continue to pull what little water remains in underground aquifers. This is causing the state to actually sink. It's been sinking for decades, but the problem is getting worse. Reveal News writes, "Last summer, scientists recorded the worst sinking in at least 50 years. This summer, all-time records are expected across the state as thousands of miles of land in the Central Valley and elsewhere sink."
As a result, the "sinking is starting to destroy bridges, crack irrigation canals and twist highways across the state, according to the U.S. Geological Survey."
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Images recently released by NASA' twin GRACE satellites show an ever-worsening situation.
Good news! There is not an unavoidable bacon shortage looming in our future. Bad news! What was actually being predicted was really an increase in meat prices across the board. Droughts have completely decimated this year's corn crop, and as corn is the stuff we usually feed our meat, it's going to cost more to raise a pig (or a cow, or a chicken) next year. Key takeaways: There will still be meat, it's just going to be more spendy next year, and also don't trust the British when they offer you "bacon" because they actually mean Canadian bacon, which is different (and inferior). Read the rest